Bringing LIBERTY to
Capitol Hill -- 2008
Saturday Morning, July 28, 2007, 10:30am
A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning
to listen to a replay of the July 28, 2007 Ozarks Virtual Town
Notes and Summary of the Broadcast -- Expanding Powers
of Government Surveillance
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week I visited with troops at
Charleston Air Force Base. These fine men and women are serving
courageously to protect our country against dangerous enemies. The
terrorist network that struck America on September the 11th wants to
strike our country again. To stop them, our military, law enforcement,
and intelligence professionals need the best possible information about
who the terrorists are, where they are, and what they are planning.
One of the most important ways we can gather
that information is by monitoring terrorist communications.
A Libertarian Response:
If America's Founding Fathers were to visit the 21st century, how
would they react to this issue? They would ignore the details of the
arguments between Congress, the President, and the "intelligence
community," and they would look at "the Big Picture," by
asking, "Why is the federal government so unconstitutionally HUGE,
why is it fighting an unconstitutional war, and why has everything we
fought for in 1776 been lost?"
- We have to think like America's Founding Fathers thought. "LIBERTY
- taxes - ten times larger than those opposed by the Founders
- enumerated powers - Washington D.C. is no longer bound down
"by the chains of the Constitution"
- no entangling alliances - U.S. overthrows governments, props
up dictators, and makes terrorist recruiting easier
- standing armies - a permanent military-industrial complex
- distrust of government/power -
open to evidence of corruption, tyranny
- Fourth Amendment, Bill of Rights:
- The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches
and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall
issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be
searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
- We have to think like America's Founding Fathers thought.
"Liberty UNDER GOD"
- Nearly $500 billion has been taken out of the paychecks of
Americans like you and has been used to bomb one Iraqi
neighborhood after another into rubble. Is this a Christian
- Imagine if that money had been used to build businesses in
Iraq and teach the Iraqi people about the concepts of capitalism
and "Liberty Under God." See Thomas Jefferson's missionary
answer to terrorists.
- Imagine we had been doing this for the last 20 years, instead
of helping Saddam Hussein stay in power when he was at war with
- It would have dramatically reduced terrorist recruiting.
- Vengeance, killing and destroying
are anti-Christian. America is by no means a Christian nation
- Congressman Ron Paul has asked the right question: why are they
mad at us? Because we're free? Why don't they attack Switzerland?
- A second question we should ask is "Why are they powerful
enough to attack us on our soil?" Who is financing these
terrorists? Why must we get our oil from the Middle East instead of
Kevin Craig's Platform: Iraq
The 2006 Libertarian Party Platform: Foreign
- Recent Blog Posts:
More Detailed Response:
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 28, 2007
|THE PRESIDENT: Good
morning. This week I visited with troops at Charleston Air Force
Base. These fine men and women are serving courageously to protect
our country against dangerous enemies. The terrorist network that
struck America on September the 11th wants to strike our country
again. To stop them, our military, law enforcement, and
intelligence professionals need the best possible information
about who the terrorists are, where they are, and what they are
||There are many fine men and women
in the military, and they demonstrate great courage. There
are also others.
Our number one goal should not be to "stop the
terrorists." Ahead of that should be the goal of keeping the
oath to "support the Constitution," and ahead of that
should be keeping "the Laws of
Nature and of Nature's God."
"The War on Terror" violates both of these higher
the most important ways we can gather that information is by
monitoring terrorist communications. The Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act -- also known as FISA -- provides a critical
legal foundation that allows our intelligence community to collect
this information while protecting the civil liberties of
Americans. But this important law was written in 1978, and it
addressed the technologies of that era. This law is badly out of
date -- and Congress must act to modernize it.
||If we argue about the
technicalities of particular cases where eavesdropping is said to
be necessary, we may miss the big picture. The federal government
seeks to negate the Bill of Rights because of the "War on
Terror." But that war is itself unnecessary and
face sophisticated terrorists who use disposable cell phones and
the Internet to communicate with each other, recruit operatives,
and plan attacks on our country. Technologies like these were not
available when FISA was passed nearly 30 years ago, and FISA has
not kept up with new technological developments. As a result, our
Nation is hampered in its ability to gain the vital intelligence
we need to keep the American people safe. In his testimony to
Congress in May, Mike McConnell, the Director of National
Intelligence, put it this way: We are "significantly burdened
in capturing overseas communications of foreign terrorists
planning to conduct attacks inside the United States."
||The links below
explain why new powers are not needed. Even the powers the
President already has are unConstitutional. Diminishing our rights
under the Constitution is not the answer to the mess we find
ourselves in. We need to step back and look at the Big Picture.
The question is not, "How can the government become more
intrusive in order to fight terrorism," the question is,
"How will Liberty Under God diminish the terrorist
threat?" It will.
this problem, my Administration has proposed a bill that would
modernize the FISA statute. This legislation is the product of
months of discussion with members of both parties in the House and
the Senate -- and it includes four key reforms: First, it brings
FISA up to date with the changes in communications technology that
have taken place over the past three decades. Second, it seeks to
restore FISA to its original focus on protecting the privacy
interests of people inside the United States, so we don't have to
obtain court orders to effectively collect foreign intelligence
about foreign targets located in foreign locations. Third, it
allows the government to work more efficiently with private-sector
entities like communications providers, whose help is essential.
And fourth, it will streamline administrative processes so our
intelligence community can gather foreign intelligence more
quickly and more effectively, while protecting civil liberties.
||This debate is
irrelevant. It misses the most fundamental issues. America's
Founding Fathers would not get bogged down in this debate. They
would return us to the Big
This is "deja vu" of previous
attempts by the President to expand FISA. In light of previous
amendments to FISA (after 9/11) Bush's
Breathtakingly Dishonest Plea for Greater Surveillance Powers
deserves to be rejected.
the NSA Above the Law?
community warns that under the current statute, we are missing a
significant amount of foreign intelligence that we should be
collecting to protect our
country. Congress needs to act immediately to pass this
bill, so that our national security professionals can close
intelligence gaps and provide critical warning time for our
country" - National Security
- does not come by creating a more powerful and intrusive federal
|As the recent
National Intelligence Estimate reported, America is in a
heightened threat environment. Reforming FISA will help our
intelligence professionals address those threats -- and they
should not have to wait any longer. Congress will soon be leaving
for its August recess. I ask Republicans and Democrats to work
together to pass FISA modernization now, before they leave town.
Our national security depends on it.
||The real threat to America is the
federal government. America's Founding Fathers would see this
instantly. They would see that the federal government is
exercising powers that go well beyond Constitutional limits. They
would see that the federal government is violating the
most essential principle of our foreign policy. They would see
that terrorists threaten America because America has abandoned
"Liberty Under God" at home
and abroad. We need to re-capture the vision of America's Founding
|Thank you for
The Democrat Party Radio Address:
Pelosi delivered the Democratic Radio Address. You can download the
Democratic Radio Address here.
Subject: H.R. 1 - 9/11 Commission Recommendations
A Libertarian Response to Democrats:
The 9/11 Commission was a disappointment to many
families of 9/11 victims. It was not designed to probe real
responsibility for the tragedy, but to cover up. See David Ray
9/11 Commission Report: Omissions And Distortions.
for a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual
For Further Research on Government Surveillance:
Shifting Rationales for Empire
and the Patriot Act Are the Abuse
the Rule of Law and Constitutional Government
Patriots Should Worry More about Freedom at Home
Brother Is Watching: Events
Acts: I & II: The New Assault on Liberty?: Events
Please Protect Us from Terrorists and the ACLU
Leviathan: The Trick that Works Every Time
the Rule of Law and Constitutional Government
- Future of Freedom Foundation
at CATO Institute
FISA - The New American
An unconstitutional government is
using its powers domestically and abroad. This is the root cause of the
The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign
nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as
little political connection as possible."
— Washington, Farewell Address (1796) [Washington’s emphasis]
I deem [one of] the essential principles of our
government, and consequently [one] which ought to shape its
administration,…peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all
nations, entangling alliances with none.
— Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)